Archive for October, 2009

Wednesday 28th October.

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

Wednesday 28th.  The day opened with a light WSW’ly and preparations in  hand to fly some of the Trial Lesson pupils from the previous week’s government sponsored “Learning Revolution Festival”.  With no immediate prospects of soaring, CFI Andy Parish arranged with tuggie Ian Plant to take one of the Pawnees down to Bagby for its 150 hr check and the opportunity was taken to launch the K21 with one of the above pupils en route.  This flight contacted weak wave directly over the site, eventually climbing to 5200′ asl.  With the return of CFI & tuggie from Bagby,  flying started in earnest and eventually 24 ATs were flown off runway 24 with all of the club fleet in action, joined by 3 private owners.   9 of the flights exceeded an hour, with the initial wave lift being complemented by hill lift as the wind strengthened.  Smooth hill lift was  maintained as the wind and the wave died towards the end of the day.  Most pilots managed a soaring flight and the average flight time for the day was around an hour with George Rowden/Brian Cowe and Ian Plant/P Wright meeting the day’s average in separate K21 flights.  Phil Lazenby, flying the club DG303 reached 8500′ asl in a flight of just over 3 hours that included visits to Catterick, Wetherby and Masham while Reg Rowlinson, flying the club Ka8, had around 2.5 hrs.  2 of the 5 Trial Lesson pupils flown were partially sighted with one enjoying his flight much more than the other.  There were also 3 Falke flights on a very pleasant and enjoyable day.

Friday 23rd to Tuesday 27th October.

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Friday 23rd.   Friday saw the start of a 4 day aerobatic course with Paul Conran.  However, the weather was in a generally uncooperative mood and a cloudy light to moderate SE’ly brought in some low cloud and drizzle first thing.  However, the conditions slowly brightened and 4 ATs were flown during the middle of the afternoon giving the course members a chance to look at the world from a different perspective.

Saturday 24th.  The low cloud, rain and drizzle returned with the wind again in the SE and with a party of Scouts on site, it was a perfect opportunity for some flying on the Simulator.  Hopes of  conditions conducive to flying slowly faded as the day progressed but late afternoon a clearance appeared as the wind went into the SW,  allowing the first launch at 1654 hrs, a 4500′ AT for an aerobatic session.  3 AT’s in the K21 followed with Scouts, staying up being relatively easy with 2kts  lift on parts of the southerly ridge and some weak wave present.  With the light fading, the last flight with John Marsh had to be called down and by the time the  gliders were washed and hangar packed it was dark.

Sunday 25th.  A fresh to strong SW’ly gusting to over 30 kts accompanied by low cloud and occasional rain meant that the gliders remained in the hangar although the duty  instructor kept a close eye on the weather, as the briefing room had been full of  people looking forward to a day’s ridge soaring.  The simulator was again utilised for another visiting group of Scouts and Russel Cheetham also took to the air in virtual reality.  However, the conditions didn’t improve during the day and hopes of some real flying were not realised.

Monday 26th.  A light NNW’ly with broken cloud meant that flying was possible and 27 ATs were flown, many by the aerobatic course members as this was the last day of the course.  In addition to the K21s used by the aerobatic pilots, the club DG1000 and Discus were also flown, withRob Bailey continuing his self appointed task of flying the Discus whenever possible, this time having 4 flights during the day.  With the light winds,  no hill or wave lift was available, consequently flight times were generally  in the 10 to 15 minute range with the aerobatic students doing their best to beat the tug back to the airfield.  David Hill flying the sole Trial Lesson of the day managed 20 minutes in the DG 1000.  The aerobatic course concluded with 3 members being awarded their Basic Aerobatic badges, homegrown pilots John Taylor and Fred Brown and James Fischer from  the Mynd.  Ken Arkley went up with Paul Conran to video an aerobatic session that included loops, stall turns and inverted flying from the back seat of the K21.  Ken then put his video editing skills to good use to produce a hair raising final product complete with titles and music that will soon be appearing on YouTube.

Tuesday 27th.  A very moist, moderate SE’ly meant the site was in cloud the whole day with no flying possible so  Stuart Heaton took the opportunity to change the batteries on the weather station, resulting in the resumption of weather data on the club website.  During the afternoon George Rowden showed visiting son and grandson, who fly from Gransden Lodge, the thrills of  hill soaring the local topography courtesy of the simulator.

Wednesday 21st to Thursday 22nd October.

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Wednesday 21st.  A major low pressure centred off the W of the UK sent an active occluded front crawling across the country, with the result  that the site was in cloud and rain for all the flying day and everything stayed in the hangars or trailers.

Thursday 22nd.  With yesterday’s occluded front now over the N Sea and the forecasters promising an improving weather picture, the decision was taken to carry on with the scheduled programme to introduce a further 9 people to gliding  under the “Learning Revolution Festival” sponsored by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.  Accordingly, after the normal 9-30 am briefing, the visitors were given a welcome, safety briefing and an introduction to gliding by Ken Arkley before going off in small groups to experience the much sunnier skies of the simulator and start their flying training.  The assumption had been made that the promised clearence would have arrived by the time all the visitors had had their simulator training, but this assumption, like the forecast, proved false and although the edge of the hill was visible by early afternoon it was decided that  the chances of getting a cloudbase high enough to start flying was remote given the moist nature of the SE’ly airstream.  Accordingly, the visitors were offered the opportunity to fly on any day of the following week, an offer which they all happily accepted after having enjoyed their virtual reality introduction to gliding on the simulator.

Saturday 17th to Tuesday 20th October.

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Saturday 17th.  Unexpected absences saw John Marsh giving the 0930 am briefing while  a light wind from the NNW  brought in low cloud which delayed the start of operations until after 11am and intermittently interrupted operations throughout the day, one interruption fortunately coinciding with lunch.  Overall, 19 ATs off runway 02 were flown, with the majority of the club fleet and 1 private owner taking to the skies.  The pilots included 6 Scouts and 4 Trial Lesson pupils.  Duncan Pask had 3 flights in the Ka8, the last one being the longest single seater flight of the day at 23 minutes, but this was eclipsed by John Marsh/Joan Wilson who made it a soaring day by having  36 minutes in the K21 courtesy of some weak wave in which they gained 300′.

Sunday 18th.  A light, variable but mainly SW’ly wind at site level, saw 40 AT’s and a  single Rotax Falke take off from runway 24 with most pilots landing on 20.  2 private owners launched with all but the DG303 utilised from the club fleet and a further 6 Scouts, 2 Scouters and 6 Trial Lesson pupils flown.    A marked wind shift to a W’ly was evident above 1000′ QFE and the main bowl was working low down for skillful (brave) pilots.  Latter in the day weak wave to around 4000′ to the E of the site was utilised by a number of pilots courtesy of Tuggie John Ellis.  Overall, Martyn Johnson had 1.8 hrs in his DG600 while Jamie Quartermaine and Rob Bailey each had 55 minutes in the club Discus.  Ian Bullous flying with G Harrison in the club K21 had 38 minutes.

Monday 19th.  A light to moderate, but cloudy SSE’ly  airstream kept the site in cloud most of the day with a clearence to the S never coming sufficiently N to allow flying to take place.

Tuesday 20th.    A moderate to fresh and cloudy SE’ly, with the promise of rain as the day  progressed, meant that a decision was taken to postpone the day’s activities for the  7 people who had been booked to fly under the month long “Learning Revolution Festival” sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.    However, the seasoned visitors from the Nene GC were not put off by a lack of lift, short flight times or the pleasures of operating off runway 06 and managed 5 ATs before the lowering cloud base put an end to operations for the day.  Rain followed around 2-30 pm.  The site was also busy as contractors sorted out fuel tank allocation following the switch from red diesel to a kerosene feedstock for the new boiler.

Tuesday 13th to Friday 16th October 09

Friday, October 16th, 2009

Tuesday 13th.  A light NNW’ly flow brought generally sunny skies am but more cloud pm.  6 ATswere flown, all in club gliders, with the Ka8 and K21 sharing the launches with  Duncan Pask and Reg Rowlinson utilising the Ka8.  Overall, flight times were in the range 20-30 minutes.  However, Andy McCann took the K21 for 40 solo  minutes in weak thermal lift.

Wednesday 14th.  A light and variable wind was accompanied by foggy skies that persisted all day.  Consequently, no flying was possible.  Ian Plant make use of the time to do some grass cutting.

Thursday 15th.  A weak cold front moving very slowly south enveloped the site in drizzle and cloud virtually all day, so again, no flying was possible.

Friday 16th.  The cold front had passed through leaving the site in a cool, 10-20 kt N’ly that  also  brought in a lot of cloud that was initially rather low.  Flying was possible in the clearer periods that came and went, but take offs along runway 02 were turbulent.  6 ATswere flown in the club K21’s, including 3 Trial Lesson pupils, but customers dried up by lunch time and the hangars were packed and the doors shut by around 2 pm.  With the forthcoming bonfire party in mind, John Ellis and Mike Smith (artist)  spent the day foraging for wood and, using the Ka8 open trailer had accumulated a nice pile alongside the hangar by close of play.

Friday 9th to Monday 12th October

Monday, October 12th, 2009

Friday 9th.  A cloudy, initially SE’ly  airstream resulted in ony 3 ATs in the early afternoon,  all in one of the club K21s.  Flight times were typically around 15 minutes.  The Rotax Falke was however busy with 8 flights.

Saturday 10th.  A light WNW’ly saw  a foggy start and then the fog lifting into stratus which eventually broke up in stratocumulus.  Following a late-ish start, 23 ATs were flown with 2 private owners and the club’s K21s, DG1000 and Discus flying.  A distinct lack of soaring opportunities generally kept flight times in the 10-20 minutes range, but Jon May/Steve Ball in their Duo Discus found weak thermal  lift out to the west over Dishforth and managed 47 minutes aloft.  The quiet conditions suited the 3 Trial Lesson pupils who flew.

Sunday11th.  A fresh NW’ly resulted in the winch being initially used but after 1 flight in the DG1000 in which Mike Wood took a guest up for 35  minutes, the decision was taken to AT and a further 9 launches were flown off  runway 24 with landings on 30, all in the club’s 2 seaters .   5 of the launches were for the visiting Scouts, before the turbulent conditions on take off meant flying was ruled out for the rest of the day.  John Ellis, flying the Pawnee, experienced some of the most turbulent conditions he could recall.   1 Trial Lesson Pupil took to the skies and there was a  spell of thermic conditions in the early afternoon when Les Rayment/John Shaw soared for 1.8hrs in the K21.

Monday 12th.  The day opened with blue skies and a very light NNW’ly but hopes of later thermic conditions were dashed as a medium level overcast spread in from the N.  15 ATs were flown in one of the club k21s and the club Discus, including 3 flights by Trial Lesson Pupils. The first of these had  the longest flight of the day, 27 minutes, with John Marsh in the K21, but flight times were generally in the 10 to 20 minutes range.  Rob Bailey had 5 launches in the Discus and Duncan Pask 3 launches in the K21, 2 of these solo.  Graham Higgins a member of the Burn GC who has joined YGC on a winter membership, had a site check before going solo in the K21 and Andy, a member of the visiting group from Rattlesden GC, also had a check flight.    George Rowden, flying with Chris Watson, a Trial Lesson pupil, had a close look at a RAF  Tornado as it overtook them and passed under the right wing of the K21.  Take offs were from runway 24 but landings used 30, 02 and 20, with at one point the Discus landing on 02 and the K21 landing on 20.  Malcolm Winter, undertaking both tug pilot and instructor roles at various times during the day found his dual role a little confusing as he found himself at one point strapped into the K21 ready to launch without a parachute.  The quiet weather was reflected in the relaxed feeling of the day, exemplified by  tea and scones being served at the launch point by Sarah Marsh towards the end of the afternoon. (Hubby John was the recipient of the scones).   Ian Plant/Andy McCann took the club Falke on a local tour early in the day and another Falke used the field for touch and go landings later.

Saturday 3rd to Thursday 8th October

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Saturday 3rd.  A very windy day with gusts of over 50 kts meant an  anxious time for those private owners with their gliders picketed out.  Thankfully no damage resulted.

Sunday 4th.  The high winds of Saturday had disappeared by Sunday leaving a soarable 5-10 kt W’ly.    35 ATs resulted with 6 private owners and all the available club fleet utilised.  The missing part of the club fleet, the DG1000, had 3.4 hrs aloft at Eden Soaring where Dave Latimer also did a scenic tour the Northern Lake District in his Ventus.  10 of the 35 ATs at Sutton resulted in flights of over an hour with Jesper Mjels taking his PIK 20 to around 8000′ in wave in his flight of 3.1 hrs. Most other pilots found thermal lift with Steve Ball taking guest G Oultram for a 2.7 hr trip in Steve’s Duo Discus while Paul Cooper and Barney Crumb, visitors from Staffordshire GC enjoyed a 1.2 hr flight in the club DG500.  6 Trial Lesson pupils were flown and speaking of first flights, congratulations to Steve Briggs on his first flight in the club Astir and to Andy Darlington on his first flight in the club Discus.  In among all this activity, there was a single Falkc flight.

Monday 5th.  The wind had gone round into the S but another sunny day saw Cu development in the afternoon.  21 ATs were flown but the conditions were not promising enough for private owners although all the available club gliders were utilised except the Ka8.  5 of the flights exceeded an hour with the Staffordshire GC visitors well to the fore,  Barney Crump/Mr Moore having the longest flight of the day, 1.4 hrs, in the DG500 and Paul Cooper 1.2 hrs in the DG303.   A further 2 notable flights were logged.  Duncan Pask went solo in the K21 and followed up his 18 minute solo flight with a second of 33 minutes.  Not to be outdone, Rob Bailey had his first flight in the Discus and enjoyed it so  much he stayed up for just under an hour.  Congratulations to both of them.  In addition to all this excitement, there were 3 Trial Lesson pupil flights and over at Eden Soaring, the club DG1000 had 3 launches.

Tuesday 6th.  Rain, rain and more rain in a light S’ly prevented any flying taking place.

Wednesday 7th.  A very light S’ly that went into the W towards the end of the flying day did not bring any soarable conditions with the result that the longest flight from  the 23 ATs of the day was 24 minutes by visitor A Noble flying his ASW 19.  In spite of the poor soaring conditions most of the club fleet were flown, including the DG1000 which had returned from its visit to Eden Soaring.  The generally quiet conditions proved ideal for 3 Trial Lesson pupils, a Day Course member and particularly for Reg Rowlinson who had his first flight in the club Ka8.  Congratulations to him.  2 Falke flights made up the day’s activities and the motor theme was added to by the arrival of Adrian Hatton in his very stylish Twister. 

Thursday 8th.  A light NW’ly that veered into the NNW as the afternoon progressed brought sunny skies and surprisingly good thermals from around lunch time.  11 private owners, including the visitors from the Staffordshire GC, took advantage of the conditions as did all the club fleet with the exception of the Ka8.  13 of the flights exceeded an hour with John Ellis completing the local 100km triangle albeit at a slowish speed resulting from having to recover from a low point of 1000′.  Most other pilots stayed reasonably local, but found very good conditions late afternoon.  Pilots reported flying along streets at 70+ kts with 4 up  on the  vario, not bad for October.  13 of  the flights exceeded an hour with John Ellis spending some of 3.5 hrs in the air completing the above triangle while Sue Aherne continued her love affair with the Discus in a flight of 2.2 hrs, no doubt starting to worry about all these new Discus pilots.  A number of Trial Lesson pupils were flown while Mr Wild, a Day Course member, had his designated 3 flights which lasted 20, 40 and 60 minutes, the last withMike Wood in the T21.  Hopefully, both were well kitted out at the temperature at around 5000′ asl, cloud base towards the end of the afternoon, was below freezing.  Both pilots will have been very happy to know that the new central heating boiler is now fully operational.  During the day, a second pilot joined the select wheels up club, membership £25.  Adrian Hatton’s Twister was joined by David Gill’s RV9 with both aircraft due to return to their home bases of Newark and Bicester on Friday.

Sunday 27th September to Friday 2nd October

Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

Sunday 27th.  The anticyclone was still in  charge but the wind picked up compared to Saturday to bring reasonable wave conditions with heights in the 8000′ region.  19 ATs were flown, with virtually all the club fleet utilised and complemented by 4 private owners.  John Ellis in his Nimbus 3 andDerek Smith in his LS7 both went cross country in wave, John going 240 km and Derek 135 km.   10 of the day’s flights exceeded an hour with John Ellis’ 4.6 hrs the best of the day closely followed by Jesper Mjels’ 4.1 hrs in the club DG303.  The Dave Latimer/Steve Briggs  combination had 2.3hrs in the club DG1000 as Dave passed on cross country flying tips to Steve.  Up at Aboyne, Andy Wright clocked up another 210 km in wave, but found progress hard going with a 60kt wind aloft.  4 Trial Lesson pupils took to the air and there was a single Falke flight.

Monday 28th.  A fresh to strong W’ly saw the winch out and 10 launches , all in 2 seaters, one private.   2 of the flights exceeded an hour with Bill Payton/Malcolm Winter having 2.4hrs in Bill’s DG1000t while Colin Troise had 1.1 hrs solo in the club K21.  Malcolm Winter then had a further 56 minutes in the club K21 with Mike Boxall and there were 2 Trial Lesson flights.

Tuesday 29th.    Flying operations were hampered by the absence of CFI  Andy Parish and Tug Pilot Ian Plant on sick leave.   In the event only 2 ATs were flown, Jesper Mjels having 1.7hrs in his Pik 20 and Stuart Heaton taking Trial Lesson pupil J Doy for 25 minutes in the club K21.  There was also a single Falke flight.

Wednesday 30th.  With a 10-15 kt W’ly wind blowing, winching was the order of the day and 14 launches were flown.  Club flying utilised the K21s, Ka8 and Discus and there were 4 flights by private owners.  Jesper Mjels had 2.7 hrs in his Pik 20 and John Carter 2 hrs in the club Discus, 2 of the 5 flights to exceed an hours duration. Mike Wood/T Pettler had the longest 2 seater flight of the day, 35 minutes in the club K21.   Up at Aboyne, Andy Wright posted a 516 km flight in wave.

Thursday 1st October.  A light NNW’ly following the passage of a weak cold front overnight, brought good thermals allowing pilots to go cross country.  24 ATs were flown with 10 private owners taking advantage of the good soaring conditions with 75% of the club fleet also utilised.  9 of the flights exceeded an hour with Lindsay McLane aloft for just over 4 hrs in his Ventus on a flight that took in Barnard Castle and Malton.   Nick Gaunt flying his LS got within 8 miles of Spurn Point while Phil Lazenby, flying the club Discus for 2.5hrs, visited Masham, Wetherby South and Pocklington in his flight of 155 km.  Malcolm Winter flying with Terry Potter in the club DG1000 put up the longest flight in a club 2 seater with just over an hour.   One pilot achieved the  unenviable distinction of being the first  to land a club glider wheels up and therefore incur a charge of £25, following the recent decision of the YGC Board. 

Friday 2nd October.  A day of low cloud and rain resulted in no flying being possible, apart from a single flight on the simulator.  The main activity  of the day related to  picketted out gliders being put back in their trailers in advance of very strong winds forecast for Saturday and the club DG1000 being derigged and put in its trailer to allow Dave Latimer/Pete Thewell to take it across the Pennines for a week end visit to Eden Soaring.